Question 2: What’s the difference between God’s work and man’s work? And what’s the essential difference between God incarnate and the people who God uses?
Answer: This question is highly significant. For us to know God, understanding His substance and His work is absolutely essential. If we can’t differentiate between God’s work and man’s work, and don’t understand the essential difference between God incarnate and the men used by God, then we are highly prone to mistake the men that we admire for men used by God, and to mistake man’s work for God’s work. When we follow men, we mistakenly think we are following God, unaware that we are straying from the true way and resisting God. This offends God's disposition! Over 2,000 years have gone by and still no one can clearly differentiate between the work and substance of God incarnate and that of the men used by God. In the last days, Almighty God has arrived to uncover the mysteries that enshroud this subject. Let’s see what God says about the difference between the work of God incarnate and the work of the men used by God.
Almighty God says, “The work of God Himself involves the work of all of mankind, and it also represents the work of the entire era, which means that God’s own work represents every dynamic and trend of the work of the Holy Spirit, whereas the work of the apostles comes after God’s own work and follows from it, and it does not lead the era, nor does it represent trends of the Holy Spirit’s work in a whole era. They only do the work man ought to do, which has nothing at all to do with the management work. The work God does Himself is a project within the management work. Man’s work is only the duty that people who are used fulfill, and it is unrelated to the management work” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work).
“The work of God incarnate begins a new era, and those who continue His work are those who are used by Him. The work done by man is all within the ministry of God in the flesh, and it is incapable of going beyond this scope. If God incarnate had not come to do His work, man would not be able to bring the old age to an end and would not be able to usher in a new era” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God).
“The incarnate God is essentially different from the people used by God. The incarnate God is able to do the work of divinity, whereas the people used by God are not. At the beginning of each age, God’s Spirit speaks personally and launches the new era to bring man into a new beginning. When He has finished speaking, this signifies that God’s work within His divinity is done. Thereafter, people all follow the lead of those used by God to enter into their life experience” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essential Difference Between the Incarnate God and the People Used by God).
“All God expresses is what He Himself is, and this is unattainable by man—that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all mankind, and this is unrelated to the details of human experience, but is concerned instead with His own management. What man expresses is his experience, while what God expresses is His being, which is His inherent disposition, beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his insight and knowledge acquired on the basis of God’s expression of His being. Such insight and knowledge are called man’s being, and the basis of their expression is man’s inherent disposition and caliber—this is why they are also called man’s being. … The words spoken by God’s incarnate flesh are the direct expression of the Spirit and they express the work that has been done by the Spirit, which the flesh has not experienced or seen, yet He still expresses His being, for the essence of the flesh is the Spirit, and He expresses the work of the Spirit” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work).
“The work of people who are used is also the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet the work of God is the complete expression of the Holy Spirit, which is absolutely true, whereas the work of people being used is mixed with many human things, and is not the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, let alone His complete expression” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work).
“The work of man signifies his experience and his humanity. What man provides and the work he does represent him. Man’s insight, man’s reasoning, man’s logic, and his rich imagination are all included in his work. Man’s experience is particularly able to signify his work, and a person’s experiences become the components of his work. Man’s work can express his experience” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work).
“The work God does is not representative of the experience of His flesh; the work man does is representative of his experience. Everyone talks about their personal experience. God can express the truth directly, while man can only express the experience that corresponds to his having experienced the truth. God’s work has no rules and is not subject to time or geographical constraints. He can express what He is at anytime, anywhere. He works as He pleases. Man’s work has conditions and context; without them, he would be unable to work and unable to express his knowledge of God or his experience of the truth. To tell whether something is God’s own work or man’s work, you must simply compare the differences between the two” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work).
We can see from Almighty God's words that both the work of God incarnate and that of the men used by God seem to be man’s work and words on the surface, but actually there are essential differences. God incarnate appears to be an ordinary, normal person on the surface, but really He is the flesh that the Spirit of God wears. His substance is divinity. And so, He is capable of directly expressing the truth, God’s righteous disposition, and what God has and is. He is capable of uncovering the mysteries of God’s management plan and ushering in a new age and ending the old. The entirety of mankind is moving forward with God's work. As God’s work concludes one age and ushers in another, the entirety of mankind moves forward into a new age. This proves that the work of God incarnate leads the entire era to progress forward. However, man's work can't usher in a new age or put an end to the old age. In addition, another essential difference is that the work and word of God incarnate is the direct expression of His divinity. It hasn’t been tainted by human thought, imagination, logic, or reasoning. It is imbued with the original intent of the Spirit of God, without being diluted by human ideas in the slightest. Every one of God incarnate’s words is the truth, brimming with authority and power, and so they can become man’s life, they can change man’s disposition, purify, save, and perfect man. At last, they will guide mankind to their beautiful final destination. The people God uses, however, are human in substance. They are not God incarnate, so they can’t usher in a new age or put an end to the old one, nor can they show man the direction ahead in a new age. Their work does not involve God’s management. They merely do the work of human cooperation according to the basis of God’s work, fellowship about their experiences and knowledge of God’s word. These experiences and knowledge are representative of what man has and is, and they are imbued with man’s imagination, logic, reasoning, experience, lessons, and so on. Although most of these fellowships accord with the truth and can provide people with spiritual nourishment, support, and assistance, they are not the truth, and aren’t enough to be a man’s life. Only when man’s work cooperates with God’s work will the result of purifying, saving and perfecting man be achieved. This is the difference between the work of God incarnate and that of the men used by God.
We will understand more clearly after we examine the facts about God’s work and man’s work. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He brought the way that “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He did the work of mankind’s redemption in that stage, concluding the Age of Law and ushering in the Age of Grace. And so, humanity's new era began with the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus expressed His disposition of love and mercy, and His sin offering allowed man’s sins to be forgiven. Man would no longer be cursed or condemned for violating the law, and instead was qualified to come before God, praying and crying out to Him, to enjoy the truth and grace He bestowed upon them. After the Lord Jesus finished His work and ascended to heaven, His apostles did their work of nourishing and serving man on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work and words. They fellowshiped about their experiences and knowledge of God's word to lead God’s chosen people to practice the Lord’s word, obey His commandments, to spread and testify to the salvation of the Lord Jesus, to establish churches, and serve believers, and so on. They cooperated with God’s work, with the Lord Jesus’ words as their foundation. They were fulfilling man’s duty. The epistles they wrote and the words they spoke were actually their own personal experiences and knowledge of the Lord Jesus’ work and word. It was all in line with the truth, but cannot be equated to the work and words of the Lord Jesus. Christ of the last days—Almighty God has come; He has ushered in the Age of Kingdom, and ended the Age of Grace. The Age of Kingdom begins with the work of Almighty God. Almighty God has done the work of judgment beginning with God’s house, disclosed all the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, expressed all the truths that will purify and save mankind, and revealed God’s holy and righteous substance to us humans, along with His majestic and wrathful disposition that is intolerant of man’s offense. He does this to thoroughly deliver mankind from their corrupt disposition, to help them break free from Satan’s influence, and to bring mankind at last to their final beautiful destination. Almighty God’s work completes God’s management plan, and will bring forth the end of the entire old age. All His words will be fulfilled and come to fruition. In the end, the entirety of mankind will come to acknowledge Almighty God as the one true God, and they will all witness how Almighty God fulfills His words and brings forth the end of the age. After Almighty God has made a group of overcomers, all kinds of disasters will rain down, and all mankind will fall into disasters and be refined. Only then will God descend openly with clouds to manifest Himself to all nations and all peoples. This proves that Almighty God’s work in the last days brings forth the end of an age and ushers forth a new one. The work of the man used by God is to fellowship his knowledge and experiences of God’s word based on Almighty God’s work and word, and to water and shepherd God’s chosen people, guiding them in their pursuit of the truth to enter into the reality of God]s words, and lead them to give public testimonies to the entire world, to all of mankind, about the gospel of the arrival of the kingdom. The man that God uses merely cooperates with God's work, fulfilling man's duty. This is the main difference between the work of God incarnate and the work of the men used by God, a difference that is determined completely by the distinct substances of God and man.
Just now we fellowshiped the difference between the work of God incarnate and the work of the men used by God. I think we’re all clear on that. So let’s take a step further and fellowship about the substantive difference between God incarnate and the men that God uses. Let’s take a look at what Almighty God says about this aspect of the truth.
“The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood; He is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father).
“Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above all created humans, above any man who can perform God’s work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself—all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans have nothing but humanity, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but, more importantly, divinity” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God).
“The divinity of Christ is above all men; therefore, He is the highest authority of all created beings. This authority is His divinity, that is, the disposition and being of God Himself, which determines His identity” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father).
“Because God is holy and pure, and real and actual, His flesh comes from the Spirit. This is definite and incontrovertible. Not only being able to bear testimony for God Himself, but also being able to completely devote Himself to doing God’s will: these represent one side of God’s essence. That the flesh comes from the Spirit with an image means that the flesh with which the Spirit clothes Himself is substantively different to the flesh of humans, and this difference primarily lies in their spirit” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 9).
“He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. …
“… God is God, and man is man. God has the essence of God, and man has the essence of man” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface).
Almighty God has made it very clear that God incarnate is God’s Spirit realized in the flesh. Although He has normal humanity, He is of divine substance. The men that God uses, however, are of human substance. They can only be human, and have no divine substance at all. “Christ has a divine substance” means that what God’s Spirit possesses—His inherent disposition, His substance of righteousness and holiness, what God has and is, God’s almightiness and wisdom, and God’s authority and power—is all realized in the flesh. This flesh is the flesh with divine substance, the real God who has come to earth to work and save mankind. Because Christ has divine substance, His emotional state, attitudes, viewpoints, and opinions toward various people, events, and things, all of Christ's thoughts are the truth, they are all expressions of God’s holy substance and life disposition. Christ can represent God completely, can directly express God's voice, His disposition, and what God has and is through God’s identity. He can bestow upon man the truth, the way, and the life, and this is far beyond the capacity of any created human. It is because Christ possesses complete divinity, and so He can express God's word directly, at any time and place, rather than the prophets who only convey a few of God’s words on occasion. All that Christ expresses is the truth, and that is God's work in the new age. He doesn’t talk about His knowledge and experience of God’s words. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can express the truth at any time and any place to supply, water, and shepherd people, to guide all mankind. And because Christ has complete divinity, He can take on God’s work. He can lead and redeem mankind, conquer and save mankind, conclude the entire old age. But the men God uses are of human substance. They possess no divinity, but are merely human. And so they can only carry out the work of man and fulfill man’s duty. Although they possess the enlightenment, illumination, work, and perfection of the Holy Spirit, at best they can only cooperate with God’s work and express their knowledge and experience. Their words might accord with the truth and benefit others most of the time, but they are not the truth, and they do not stand on equal ground with God’s words. that the incarnate God conducts the work of initiating an age and ending an age. He can directly express the truth and guide the entirety of mankind. But the men God uses or the men who have the work of the Holy Spirit are at best merely cooperating with God’s work while fulfilling man’s duty. At best, they are merely expressing their own knowledge and experiences of God’s word, and what they say accords with the truth. No matter how long they’ve worked for God and no matter how much they’ve spoken, they are merely sharing their knowledge and experience of God's word, they are merely exalting God and bearing witness for God. This is the essential difference between God incarnate and the men God uses or the men who have the work of the Holy Spirit.
God incarnate is of divine substance, and so His work and word are undefiled by man’s thoughts, notions, imaginations, and logic, rather, God incarnate directly expresses all that divinity has and is, and the original meaning of God’s Spirit. Just like in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, brought the way of repentance, and expressed His disposition of lovingkindness and mercy, and so on. They are all direct expressions of the Spirit of God, are all natural revelations of the disposition of God and all that He has and is. They are all beyond the reach of man’s thinking. In the last days, Almighty God expresses all the truth that will purify, save, and perfect mankind. He reveals God’s righteous disposition that does not tolerate any offense, and uncovers all the mysteries of His management plan, such as the mysteries of God's incarnation, the differences between God’s work and man’s work, the purpose of God’s management plan, the inside truth of the three stages of God’s work, the root of man’s corruption, how man should break free from sin to attain God’s salvation, mankind’s future destiny, and so on. Everything that Almighty God does is all the direct expression of the divinity, is the original meaning of the Spirit of God, which is beyond the reach of man’s thinking. The work and word of God incarnate and His expressed disposition are enough to prove that God incarnate is divine in substance, and that He is no other than God Himself, the One and only. The men God uses, however, cannot possibly replace God in carrying out His divine work, nor can they directly express the original will of God’s Spirit. They can only do the work of human cooperation on the foundation of God’s work, share their knowledge and experience, lead God’s chosen people to enter the reality of the truth of God’s words, bear witness for God and serve Him. This is the fulfillment of man's duty. They do the work that the human mind is capable of, the work that man can experience, the work that is essentially what man has and is. Because God incarnate and the men He uses are different in substance, their work is completely different in nature. God incarnate differs from the men that He uses, just as much as God differs from man. One has the substance of God, while the other is human in substance. The One with divine substance can do God’s work, while those of human substance can only do man’s work. Everyone who believes in God must understand this.
Now we understand the difference between God’s work and man’s work, as well as the essential difference between God incarnate and the men that God uses. However, we still need to differentiate between the work of the men God uses and the work of religious leaders and religious personalities. This is very important as well. If we can't differentiate between God’s work and man’s work, or differentiate between the men God uses and those hypocritical Pharisees, we'll be prone to worshiping and following men and will easily deviate from the true way! It will be just like when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, and God’s chosen people in Judaism all followed the hypocritical Pharisees, forsaking Him. In the last days, Almighty God does the work of judgment. In the religious world, pastors and leaders, the modern-day Pharisees, deceive, restrain, and confine so many people, leading them to forsake Christ of the last days. This is a grave lesson that we must learn. To follow God, we must be able to discern the essence of religious leaders. That is, they are nothing but hypocritical Pharisees. They work through their gifts and talents, interpreting the Bible in accordance with their own notions, imaginations, and logical reasoning. What they really preach are the theories of theology and biblical studies. They only care about interpreting and preaching the words of men in the Bible, instead of exalting and bearing witness to God’s words. They use the words of men to substitute the Lord Jesus’ words, turning the Lord into a mere figurehead. This work runs completely counter to God’s will. The crux of the Pharisee’s opposition to God lies here. Religious people all fall for the Pharisees’ leadership, and they follow blindly. They believe in God for years and years, but never receive any nourishment of the truth or the life. At best, they can only hope to gain some knowledge of the Bible and theological theories. They grow more and more arrogant, self-righteous, and contemptuous in disposition, and lack the slightest amount of reverence for God. Gradually, God loses His position in man’s hearts, and unbeknownst to them, they walk the Pharisees’ path in opposition to God. In particular, there are many religious leaders and personalities who take the Bible out of context and misinterpret it, spreading heresies and fallacies that agree with man’s notions and imaginations and satisfy their ambitions and desire in order to deceive, imprison, and manipulate them. There are many people who treat these heresies and fallacies as if they were God’s word, the truth. They are led onto the wrong path. These religious leaders and so-called famous men are precisely the antichrists that God has exposed through His work of judgment in the last days. These facts are enough to prove that the work of these so-called religious leaders and spiritual figures doesn’t come from the work of the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is merely Pharisees and antichrists deceiving and harming us. They all stand in opposition to God and betray Him. It is they who nail God to the cross once more, and God has cursed them!
Many people lack discernment. They treat those deceptive religious leaders and spiritual figures as if they were the men that God uses, and take their false, deceitful words to be the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, even going so far as to mistake it for God’s word, the truth. They believe in God only in name, and in reality they are worshiping and following men. There is no place for God in their hearts. They stray far from God and betray Him, without ever realizing it. They are so pathetic! What a pity. This is the main reason why God’s work will eliminate and forsake the religious world. If we're never able to discern God's work from man’s work, or differentiate between the work of men God uses and that of the hypocritical Pharisees, we'll never escape from the deceit and manipulation of these religious conmen and antichrists. If we continue to believe like this for our entire lives, no matter how hard we labor, it will all be in vain, and we’ll never be able to attain God’s praise. Let’s read a passage from Almighty God’s word, “It would be best for those people who claim to follow God to open their eyes and take a good look to see exactly who they believe in: Is it really God that you believe in, or Satan? If you know that what you believe in is not God, but your own idols, then it would be best if you did not claim to be a believer. If you really do not know who you believe in, then, again, it would be best if you did not claim to be a believer. To say so would be blasphemy! No one is forcing you to believe in God. Do not say you believe in Me; I have had enough of such talk, and do not wish to hear it again, because what you believe in are the idols in your hearts and the local bullies among you. Those who shake their heads when they hear the truth, who grin when they hear talk of death, are all the spawn of Satan, and they are the ones who will be eliminated” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth).
—The movie script of rapture in peril